The Songs of Summer for the Past 100 Years Will Bring Back Fond Memories of “Hot in Herre”
Now that it's finally starting to get hot outside, it's time we, as a nation, collectively decide which song we want to hear in every bar, at every party, and blaring out of every car window. Last year, "Blurred Lines" got you up and dancing in June and July, but by mid-August was likely the song that you associated less with fun times and more with 95 degree heat that would just never go away. This summer's Song of the Summer is yet to be determined, so now is a great time to look back on the songs of summers past. The Boston Globe decided to look back at the Song of the Summer for the past 100 years. Yep, all the way back to the Jazz Age.
The way these particular Songs of Summer were chosen was "based on a loose criteria of release date, when they peaked in popularity, and because they help illustrate how we enjoyed music that summer." This means, that while you likely will know these songs (well, at least the more recent ones), they weren't necessarily chart toppers and you may disagree with some of the decisions.
For instance, 2013's song is listed as "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke, but a good argument could be made for Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" as well. As for 2012, Psy's "Gangnam Style" was undeniably popular, but I would have chosen Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" myself. Then again, it's easier to make alternative choices for more recent years. If you asked me what song was equal in popularity to Gnarls Barley's "Crazy" in 2006, I wouldn't be able to give you an answer.
One of the more surprising choices is 2009's "My Girls" by Animal Collective, a song that never really hit it big. It wasn't a song you could turn on pop radio and hear. While I fondly remember sitting on the porch of my college house, drinking crappy beer, and listening to "My Girls" with my roommates, it wasn't a massive cultural hit like, say, "Hot in Herre" or "Macarena," 2002 and 1996's Songs of Summer.
As for some of the older songs, there's classics like Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe," and Elvis' "Hound Dog." And if you go back far enough, the only song you might recognize is 1923's "The Charleston."
The accompanying infographic is a fun trip down memory lane. You'll get to exclaim things like, "What?! "Yeah" by Usher and Lil Jon came out 10 years ago?! I remember dancing to that at my sweaty high school homecoming like it was yesterday!"
(Click on images to enlarge.)